This Darren Clarke incident has seemingly sparked a lot of interest. Kris over at Aardvark Trading Co. has written an article about the incident with an example of an in person autograph, which is pictured to the left. I'm inclined to agree that it really doesn't look like the same person's signature.
I'm still torn about the whole thing. I can't definitively decide if Darren is who he claims to be. I've contacted the other eBay stores that sell his card with a picture of the card in question. I seem to be the only one contacted by "Darren". This seems to be a count against his credibility. Then again, I could've just been the lucky chosen one. Heh, lucky me.
I was advised by other sellers to forward his first question to eBay security. I've done that because I think I was harrassed. Plus, if "Darren" is an imposter, it should be easy to spot. As funny as it ended up being, it still is a violation of eBay's rules.
Another mark against, supposedly, is the fact that "Darren" signed up to eBay the very same day he contacted me. He also provided me with a Hotmail e-mail address to contact him in his first question through eBay. A Hotmail address for a player who has reached the major leagues, albeit briefly, does not instill confidence in me to its validity.
The only point that I will say is probably in his favor is his anger over the wrong signature. I'd be pissed too if I thought someone was trying to sell a fake signature of mine. Not that my signature is worth anything, but if I were in a position where it was, I'd probably be angry too. Kris gave an example of two different players with the same name and the same signature on each of their Topps 52 cards. I wrote an e-mail to Topps this morning about this issue. Hopefully, I'll hear something back that will clue us all in to this mess.
Like Kris mused, with my luck, Darren is likely to be traded to the White Sox. Maybe Darren and I will be able to share a beer together and laugh about this someday. The only problem I see with that is that I hate beer. Maybe Darren can have my beer and I'll have a Mike's hard lemonade or something. One can dream.